At first mention of Mediterranean cuisine, images of Greek plates with flavor filled hummus may immediately come to mind, but the coastal fare includes everything from pasta based Italian specialties to coastal Italian seafood dishes. We have rounded up five of the best haute spots Boston has to offer.
Warm and cold meze like Greek fava dip, artichoke moussaka, cheese loukoumades and Kalamata olive gnocchi are just a few standout shared plates at this waterfront location. Whether you come here with a group of friends or just your significant other, the Fan Pier’s newest Mediterranean addition offers a cool vibe for dining with its open space, reclaimed wood and center bar. The restaurant was designed to be a modern style “ouzeri,” or casual meeting spot, like the ones traditionally found in Greece.
50 Northern Avenue Boston, MA 02210
2 Doretta Taverna & Raw BarDoretta Taverna & Raw Bar
When Chef/owner Michael Schlow closed his beloved Italian style Via Matta and reopened the space with a new look, name and cuisine, Bostonians took notice. The city’s first Greek taverna at the Heritage on the Garden pays homage to Schlow’s wife’s Greek heritage. At this popular haute spot, you can now snack on zucchini chips with fresh squeezed lemon or indulge in whole fish specialties, grilled octopus, traditional village salad, and even slow roasted lamb shoulder. For the ultimate experience, bring the whole family for a five-course feast complete with creamy spreads, soft pita breads and fresh mezze.
79 Park Plaza Boston, MA 02116
The latest addition to the Mediterranean scene, Porto serves up Mediterranean specialties like barrel aged Greek feta; roasted beets with rosemary yogurt; and squid ink bucatini with chorizo. For main events, try the seafood stew or campanelle with tomato, Meyer lemon and bottarga. Porto’s influences come from North Africa, Italy and Greece. Expect to find small plates to share like grilled broccoli with manchego, American and German caviar, a whole fried fish dinner, and Greek yogurt panna cotta for dessert.
Ring Road Boston, MA 02199
Chef/owner Ana Sortun first introduced Boston to Mediterranean fare when she opened Oleana more than 15 years ago. Since then, the trend has caught on and is now all of the rage in Boston. Her claim to fame dishes include spinach falafel with tahini sauce, Vermont quail kebobs, the specialty Sultan’s Delight (Tamarind beef with smoky eggplant puree and pine nuts). Lighten things up with a taste of their Siena Farms summer squash pancake with spiced feta and Kalamata olives and you will know why Oleana remains a Boston icon.
134 Hampshire Street Cambridge, MA 02139
This upscale Back Bay haute spot offers pre and post theatergoers a Mediterranean seafood lover's dream. There is every kind of seafood specialty on the menu here, including a raw bar selection filled with hamachi, littleneck clams and Duxbury Bay oysters. We recommend the salt crusted Branzino, filleted and plated tableside or the ricotta gnocchetti made with Maine lobster, beech mushrooms and shaved black winter truffles. If you are feeling like your taste buds would like to travel a little further, try the “Valenciana style” paella chock full of Maine lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, octopus and spicy chorizo.
1 Charles Street South Boston, MA 02116